Jacob Boehme

Moreover, a German author, whose first two books I have translated, ‘The Aurora’, and the ‘Three Principles’, will supply all my deficiencies. This German author, Jacob Boehme, who lived two centuries ago, and was looked upon in his time as the prince of divine philosophers, has left, in his numerous writings, which consist of about thirty different treatises, most aston-ishing and extraordinary openings, on our primitive nature; on the source of evil; the essence and laws of the universe; the origin of weight; on what he calls the seven wheels or powers of nature; the origin of water (confirmed by chemistry, which teaches that it is a burned body); on the nature of the crime of the angels of darkness; on that of man ; on the mode adopted by Eternal Love, for the restitution of mankind in their rights; etc.

think I do the reader a service, in advising him to make himself acquainted with this author; recommending him, however, to be armed with patience and courage, that he may not be repelled by the unusual form of his works; by the extremely abstract nature of the subjects he treats; and by the difficulty which the author (as he confesses himself) had in expressing his ideas, for the reason that most of the matters in question have no analogous names in our common languages.

The reader will there find that this physical elementary nature is only a residuum, a corruption (alteration) of an anterior nature, which the author calls Eternal Nature; that this present nature constituted formerly, in its whole circumscription, the throne and dominion of one of the angelic princes, called Lucifer: that this prince, wishing to reign only by the power of fire and wrath, put the kingdom (regne) of divine Love and Light aside, instead of being guided by it exclusively, and inflamed the whole circumscription of his empire; that Divine Wisdom opposed to this conflagration a temperate cooling power, which contains it, without extinguishing it, making the mixture of good and evil which is now visible in nature; that Man, formed, at once, of the principle of Fire, the principle of Light, and the Quintessential principle of physical elementary Nature, was placed in this world, to contain the dethroned guilty king; that this Man, though having in him the quintessential principle of elementary nature, was to keep it, as it were, absorbed in the pure element which then constituted his bodily form; but that, showing himself to be attracted more by the temporal principle of Nature than by the two other principles, was overcome by it, so as to fall asleep, as Moses expresses it; that, soon finding himself subdued by the material region of this world, he suffered his pure element to be swallowed up and absorbed in the gross form which envelopes us now; that he thus became the subject and victim of his enemy; that Divine Love, which eternally contemplates itself in the Mirror of its Wisdom, by the author called SOPHIA, perceived in this mirror, in which all forms are comprised, the model and spiritual form of man; that He clothed Himself with this spiritual form, and afterwards with elementary form even, that He might present to man the image of what he had become, and the pattern what he ought to have been; that man's actual object on earth is to recover, physically and morally, the likeness of his first pattern; that the greatest obstacle he here meets with is the astral elementary power which engenders and constitutes the world, and for which Man was not made; that the actual procreation of man is a speaking witness of this truth, by the pains which pregnant women experience in all their members, as their fruit is formed in them, and attracts those gross astral substances; that the two tinctures, igneous and watery, which ought to be united in Man, and identify themselves with Wisdom or SOPHIA, (but are now divided,) seek each other ardently, hoping to find, the one in the other, that SOPHIA which they are in want of; but they only fall in with the astral, which oppresses and thwarts them; that we are free to restore, by our efforts, our spiritual being, to our first divine image, as we are to allow it to take the disorderly, inferior images; and that these divers images will constitute our mode of being, our glory or our shame, in a future state, etc.